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Major changes to make base recycling more efficient

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- Recyclable items such as aluminum, plastic, glass, steel and tin are no longer accepted at the base recycling center or for residential pickup due to contractual changes. 

Under the terms of the new contract, which went into effect Sunday, only some paper products will be accepted for recycling. Products such as paper towels, napkins, tissue paper, candy wrappers, styrofoam and milk cartons are not acceptable. 

Additionally, the Auto Skills Center no longer accepts fuel filters, scrap metal and lead-acid batteries. Used oil and antifreeze will continue to be accepted for recycling, however the Base Exchange Service Station continues to accept used oil, antifreeze and lead-acid batteries from vehicles, but no longer accepts scrap metal. 

"These changes were made based on the amount of recyclables collected in the past, the cost for collection and the available recycling market to handle the disposal of materials," said David R. Tack, 5th Civil Engineer Squadron quality control specialist. "It allows us to concentrate on recycling materials there is a demand for and thereby improving our efficiency by not having to collect, transport and dispose of items that are difficult to dispose of in this part of the country." 

According to Tom Atkinson, 5th Civil Engineer Squadron environmental flight chief, limited recycling is still available on base. 

"Residents will still be provided with a recycling container to dispose of their paper products," he said. "Any materials not fitting into the container can be placed into an additional paper bag or cardboard box." 

All squadrons and base facilities are mandated to have a recycling program as well. Only selected squadrons and base facilities have their recyclables picked up. 

Others must bring their recyclables to the base recycling center during business hours. The recycling center is located at 329 Peacekeeper Place and is open from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays. 

The recycling centers in the city of Minot accept materials from people wishing to take their items downtown. However, no glass items are allowed at the downtown outlets and only certain plastic products are accepted. 

Another avenue exists for Team Minot members wishing to recycle. Senior Master Sgt. Tracie Schwab, 5th Communications Squadron, is spearheading a pickup from the Humane Society Oct. 20 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the high bay at the 5th CS headquarters building. This pickup allows base residents to recycle items they would otherwise throw away.

"It's always been a challenge to get people interested in recycling," said Mr. Tack. "We hope this makes it easier for people to participate and we encourage people to minimize the amount of paper materials tossed into the trash."
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